It’s September, which only means one thing: it’s almost time for the start of ice hockey season! The onset of fall brings the return of NHL hockey, while amateur hockey leagues across the continent are almost ready to drop the puck.
If you want an edge against players who wait for the season to begin to start playing, training at home is a great way to get it. Here’s the gear you need to train at a top-level from home the way you would on the ice.
Keeping the puck tied to a string is an essential skill at every end of the ice. Whether you’re skating out of your zone or corralling a bouncing puck in the offensive end for a scoring chance, a lot is riding on your ability to control a puck.
The best innovators on the market like HockeyShot offer interactive stick handling drills using dryland tiles and an electronic reactive training aid that forces players to watch a screen that guides them in new ways to weave the puck in and out. Such technology creates infinite drills and reinforces classic hockey skills, like mastering puck control while keeping your head up.
What’s the point of getting a breakaway if you’re only going to shoot wide? Players need to bear down and finish their chances because there are only so many in a game, and they can’t be wasted.
Today’s advanced training tools let players work on their on-ice skills from home. For example, use a shooting pad on the driveway to replicate the way a puck glides on ice.
Before, a wide shot was liable to break a window or damage property. If this is a concern, hang up a shooting tarp that extends far beyond the posts to protect your walls or garage door. The tarp has holes at the top corners, posts and five-hole to permit the puck to go in the net when it’s on target.
Finally, there’s no better way to separate yourself from opponents than blowing by them on the ice. Modern equipment lets you practice skating at home, even if there’s no ice!
You can buy synthetic ice tiles that click together and make a rink any size you want. They never melt, so that you can skate outdoors, even in the dead of summer.
Look for a premium tile that can last up to 5 to 7 years. Some tiles are built better to withstand cold and warm weather. Ideally, they should be strong enough for a car to park on them, so you can leave them on the driveway without having to take them away and set them up again each time a vehicle parks.
Many of us would never leave the ice if there were a way to skate forever, but ice time can be expensive and hard to come by. Get the above training aids for your home, and you’ll be more than ready for the opening faceoff.